Spain: January 1536, 1-20

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.

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'Spain: January 1536, 1-20', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888), pp. 1-10. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

. "Spain: January 1536, 1-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) 1-10. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

. "Spain: January 1536, 1-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888). 1-10. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

January 1536, 1-20

1 Jan.
1. Dr. Ortiz to the [Empress] Queen.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 109.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 109.
Wrote last on the 16th. December [1535]. (fn. n1) Has since received her letter of the 4th.
The late news from England sent by the Emperor's ambassador there [Eustace Chapuys] is that the measures now being prepared in Parliament against the Queen and Princess are of such cruelty that those who witness them can hardly believe their eyes. The King of that country has twice stated in public that both the Queen and Princess are guilty of high treason for holding the statutes of his kingdom in contempt, and that, though he may lose his crown in consequence, they shall be subjected to the same penalty as other traitors. No wonder then if the Imperial ambassador expresses his fears in pregnant words of the danger in which both are.
The Carthusians of London, it is added, keep firm, and are fully prepared to meet martyrdom.
With regard to the earl of Kildaria (Kildare) (fn. n2) the last news is that he is still alive in the Tower [of London], the same prison where his father was confined, but that most certainly he will rather face the same kind of death as his sire than give in, and become the heir to his property and estates [in Ireland]. There are, nevertheless, in that country, people who still resist the King's authority. A body of troops is now being raised against them. During king Francis' late illness, public processions, they say, were held in England for his health.
Recommends that prayers be ordered in Spain and all the rest of the Spanish dominions for the safety and health of the Queen and Princess, who are just now in imminent danger of death.—Rome, 1 Jan. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Empress."
Spanish. Original. pp. 9.
— Jan. 2. The Same to the Queen of England.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 82.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 149.
Your Highness' letter of the 13th December (fn. n3) came duly to hand. It was of great consolation to me, since it placed before my eyes the divine skill with which God's wisdom is forming in Your Highness' mind the glorious pattern of his own divine virtues, (fn. n4) enlightening, and at the same time arming Your Highness with the very same weapons once given to his much beloved captains the apostles and the martyrs of old, whose office and duties he has now been pleased to confer on Your Highness, that you may, with the standard of the Cross in your hands, fight your battles not only against the carnal, sanguinary, and iniquitous ministers of the king of England, but also against the legions of infernal spirits daily assailing God and Your Highness.
[Goes on exhorting Katharine to die like a martyr rather than yield to the temptations of the Devil, and then ends:]
I beg Your Highness to forgive my prolixity, for although I know very well that anything I can say on these mighty subjects is quite superfluous—God Almighty having granted to Your Highness a clearness of vision and talent more than human—yet fearing, as I do, that one of these days you will fall a victim to sorrow and bad treatment, I could not refrain from encouraging you to earn the palm of martyrdom. (fn. n5) El Dr. Ortiz.
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 22.
9 Jan. 3. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 230, No. 1.
As I stated in my despatch of the 30th of December ulto., almost immediately after closing it I mounted my horse in order to repair in all possible haste to the Queen's residence, followed by a numerous suite of my own servants and friends. Arrived at Kimbolton, the Queen sent immediately for me; and lest people should imagine that her illness was a feint, and also for fear of a friend of Cromwell's whom that secretary had sent to accompany me, or rather to act as a spy on my movements and report what I might say or do during my visit, she (the Queen) was of opinionas I also wasthat the said guide, as well as the principal officers of her household, such as her own chamberlain, who had not seen her for more than a year, and many others, should witness the interview. After making my reverence, and kissing the Queen's hand, she was pleased, out of sheer kindness and benevolence, and without any occasion or merit it on my part, to thank me for the many services which, she said, I had rendered her on former occasions, as well as the trouble I had taken in coming down to visit her, at a time too when, if it should please God to take her to Himself, it would at least be a consolation to die as it were in my arms, and not all alone like a beast. (fn. n6)
I failed not to give her on this occasion all possible hope of a speedy recovery, as well as of the prospect there was of her being shortly removed to other quarters, since the King, of his own accord, had recently offered to let her choose among various royal manors of his own that he named to me, and likewise to pay certain arrears of pension due to her, adding for her greater consolation that the King had been very sorry to hear of her illness.
After this I entreated her to take courage, and do her best to get well. If not entirely for her own sake, I said she ought at least to consider that on her recovery and life depended in a great measure the union, peace, and welfare of Christendom, To enforce which, I made use of several arguments. as previously preconcerted between her and myself, through the intermediary of a third person, all this being said aloud that the guide I have alluded to, and several others present at the interview, might, if necessary, report our conversation, and my words be the cause of greater care being taken to preserve her life.
After some more conversation on the above topics the Queen bade me retire and rest after the fatigues of my journey. She herself longed for some, as she had not slept two hours for the last six days. Not long after this she again sent for me, and we talked together for two long hours; and I must say that although, for fear of overtiring her, I made several attempts to get up and leave the room, she would not hear of it, saying that I afforded her great pleasure and consolation by remaining where I was. Out of the four days I staid at Kimbolton not one passed without my paying her an equally long visit, the whole of her commendations and charges being reduced to this: her personal concerns and will; the state of Your Majesty's affairs abroad; complaints of her own misfortunes and those of the Princess, her daughter, as well as of the delay in the proposed remedy, which delay, she said, was the cause of infinite evil among all honest and worthy people of this country, of great damage to their persons and property, and of great danger to their souls. But on my representing that Your Majesty, considering the circumstances of the case and the momentous affairs you had in hand, as well as the impediments thrown by others in your way, could not possibly do more now than you have hitherto done,—after explaining to her that the unavoidable delay, to which she alluded, had by no means been unfavourable, since not only was there a chance now of the French, who had hitherto solicited the friendship and alliance of England, turning henceforward their backs upon it, but another still greater boon had sprung therefrom, which was that the Pope and the Apostolic See, in view of the execution of the holy bishop of Rochester, and other disorderly acts committed in England, now were earnestly trying to procure the remedy to so many evils, and that such a remedy would now come very apropos, since, springing directly from His Holiness and the Apostolic See, whatever happened afterwards could in nowise be imputed to her,—the Queen seemed satisfied with my reasoning, and approved entirely of the delay. With regard to the heresies and scandals of this country, I said that she knew well that God occasionally allowed such evils to spring up in the world for the greater exaltation of the good and confusion of the bad, and that heresy had not yet taken such deep hold in this country as not to be soon up-rooted when those who had momentarily swerved from the Faith would, no doubt, become after a time its most strenuous defenders, as did Saint Paul (fn. n7) after his fall. This speech of mine made the Queen happy and contented, whereas formerly she had certain conscientious fears as to whether the evils and heresies of this country might not have been principally caused by the divorce affair.
After four days spent in the above manner, perceiving that the Queen began little by little to recover her sleep and to get rest,—that her stomach retained food, and that she was evidently getting much better,—she herself was of opinion, as well as her physician, who now considered her out of danger, that I ought at once to return home, not only in order not to abuse the permission granted to me by the King, but also to ask for a better residence for her, as promised at my departure from London. I took, therefore, leave of the Queen on Tuesday evening; she being then, to all appearance, happy and contented, so much so that on the very evening of my departure I saw her smile two or three times, and half an hour after I had left she would still joke with one of my suite, rather inclined to a jest, who had casually remained behind. (fn. n8)
On the following Wednesday, in the morning, according to the testimony of one of the grooms of her chamber, the Queen slept well, and her physician gave full hope of her recovery; so much so that he advised me to return to London immediately, adding that should there be a relapse or danger of life he would not fail to let me know. I then started and rode as leisurely as possible to wait for news, though I must say none came to me on the road.
This morning, however, on my sending to Master Cromwell to inquire when and at what hour I could have audience from the King, to thank him for the good, cheer made to me during the journey, and also to speak to him about the new house for the Queen, he communicated to my secretary the very grievous, painful, and lamentable news of the death of the, very virtuous and holy Queen, which occurred on Friday, the day after the Epiphany, towards two o'clock in the afternoon. Which intelligence, I must confess to Your Majesty, has been one of the most cruel and painful that could reach me under any circumstances; for I am afraid the good Princess her daughter will die of grief, or else that the King's concubine will carry out her threat of putting her to death, which she will certainly do unless a prompt remedy be applied to counteract her wicked designs. Meanwhile I shall do my best to comfort and console her, and if Your Majesty would only write her a letter I have no doubt that will powerfully contribute towards it. I cannot at present furnish Your Majesty with any details of the Queen's death, nor say how she has disposed of her property and affairs, for hitherto not one of her household servants has come to town, nor can I say whether they are at liberty or under arrest
This very evening, having sent a message to Cromwell to enquire what they intend doing in this emergency, as I, on my side, am fully prepared to pay my last duties to the deceased Queen, he told my man that just as he was passing the threshold of his door, he (Cromwell) had dispatched one of his own cleriks to inform me by the King's command of the Queen's demise, and that the Privy Council had decided that a very solemn and honorable funeral service should be performed for the deceased, not only on account of her many virtues, and of her having once been the wife of prince Arthur of Wales, but also for her high descent and her affinity to the Royal house of England; and that if I chose to attend the funeral the King would send black cloth for my mourning, and that of ray clerks and servants. Time and place, however, for the ceremony had not yet been fixed, but I should be informed in due time.
My answer to the above message was that, supposing the whole affair would be properly conducted, and as befitted a person of the Queen's rank, I willingly accepted the invitation, and would be present at the funeral; and with regard to mourning that the King need not take any trouble about it, for I was already provided with the black cloth necessary, &c. The Queen's illness began about five weeks ago, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty. The day after the Nativity she had a relapse. (fn. n9) The symptoms were pains in the stomach, so violent and acute that she could not retain the smallest particle of food or drink. I have many a time asked the physician who attended her, whether he had any suspicions of poison having been administered. His answer has always been that he had some doubts about it, for that since she had drunk of beer brought from Wales, she had never felt well. The poison, if there was any, must have been very subtle and refined, for he had been unable to discover externally any traces of it in her body, such as pure and simple poison would inevitably leave. Should site be embalmed, he added, we shall know for certain.
I am exceedingly sorry to have to convey such painful news to Your Majesty, knowing, as I do, bow much grieved you will be. Please God that I may be able hereafter to communicate more pleasant ones. London, 9 January 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, mostly in cipher. pp. 5.
9 Jan. 4. The Same to Dr. Ortiz.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 75.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 214.
His letter of the 3rd ult., giving an account of the Emperor's reception at Messina and Naples, came to hand on the 29th.
Will be short; for, in the first place, his (Chapuys') general health is not at all good; and, secondly, because in consequence of late events, to which reference shall be made hereafter, he (Chapuys) is in such agony of mind that he does not know where and how to begin, and express the immense misfortune and evil which has befallen him and all those who loved and respected the Queen.
Will explain, Hearing that Her Highness the Queen was dangerously ill, he (Chapuys) went to the King to ask permission to go and see her. This, after several pourparlers, was granted, and he accordingly went off as quickly as he could. Found her in bed, extremely exhausted. For the last seven days she had been unable to retain food; she scarcely could sleep; the consequence of it all being that she became so weak that she could neither stand, nor sit up in her bed. (fn. n10) God, however, so ordered that during the four days he (Chapuys) passed with her, Her Highness rallied a, little, and showed such contentment at his calling that all the time he was [at Kimbolton] she never ceased saying how pleased she was to see him, and how grateful she felt for the affection she had always perceived in him (Chapuys). After that the Queen was of opinion that he (Chapuys) should return [to London], and request the King to have her removed somewhere else where he could enjoy better air. The physician (fn. n11) was of the same opinion, and had pronounced her out of danger, unless there should be some sudden change for the worse. He (Chapuys) obeyed the Queen's commands and returned to London. He now hears that to-day [Sunday, the 9th] the King has heard [from Kimbolton] that three days after his (Chapuys') departure from thence Her Highness, queen Katharine, had a relapse of the illness from which she suffered, and that twelve hours after she died, that is to say, the day before yesterday, Friday the 7th, at two o'clock in the afternoon.
To describe the state in which so fatal an event has left him (Chapuys) would be a vain attempt; he could not find words strong enough to express his sorrow. May God be pleased to preserve the Princess from a similar fate. (fn. n12)
Will not stop to say how grateful Her Highness seemed always to be for the zeal and care with which he (Ortiz) and the rest of the Emperor's servants at Rome had taken up her cause. So she said, when he saw her last, begging him (Chapuys) to write to the Emperor in favour of them all. This he has since done, recommending their services, and especially his (the Doctor's). There can he no doubt, therefore, that if God be pleased to preserve the Princess they will all be amply remunerated.
Refers him for further details to his letter to the High Commander (Covos).—London, 9 January 1536.
Signed: "Eustacio Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the most reverend and magnificent lord the Dr. Ortiz." (fn. n13)
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
10 Jan. 5. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E., L. 865, f.76.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 116.
Has received her letter of the 23rd December [1535], and kisses her hands and feet for having so warmly taken up the cause of the queen of England, and ordered prayers to be said [in all the churches] recommending her to God. Hopes they will be listened to. The draft of the bull of deprivation which His Holiness (Paul III.) proposed the other day in Consistory, preceded by an admonition fixing a term of two months, has been privately examined by everyone of the cardinals; why it has not been issued until now he (Ortiz) cannot say. It is couched in words emanating directly from the Apostolic See, not at the request of Her Highness, the queen of England, which seemed a very prudent and highly fit step on the part of His Holiness lest the king of England should take it as an excuse for treating her worse than he is doing at present. Has sent all this information to the Emperor, who is expected here [at Rome] next February. (fn. n14)
Eustace Chapuys writes from London in date of the 14th ulto. (fn. n15) Her Highness the Queen, he says, had been unwell, owing to which that ambassador had had an opportunity of sending his own secretary [to Kimbolton] to inquire. She had written to him (Ortiz) the letter of which the enclosed is a copy.
May God be praised! The Queen, by the last accounts, was in good health (sana y buena), so was the Princess, her daughter. Both will, no doubt, feel great consolation and joy on the receipt of the Emperor's answer, which a servant of Eustace Chapuys (fn. n16) is now taking to England, whence he came. Left Rome on the 22nd.
Enclosed is the copy of an edict promulgated in England ordering that all books and manuscripts belonging to, or written by, that holy martyr, the bishop of Rochester, (Rophense), whom a sacriligeous and infernal tongue dared once stigmatise as a traitor, be committed to the flames; also all the Papal bulls of indulgence granted in former times by the Apostolic See, that all traces of them may disappear.— Rome, 10 January 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 4.
11 Jan. 6. The Same to the Same.
S. E., L. 865, f. 79.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 119.
The declaration depriving the king of England of his Kingdom, owing to his great sins against our Catholic Faith and the Holy Apostolic See, has already passed in Consistory. Three months' time are given to the King in case he should choose conversion. Nothing remains except to make out the bull, affix the leaden seal to it, and have it intimated in the customary places after it is in print. This the Pope has done in virtue of his office, not, as might be presumed, at the Queen's solicitation, for fear the King should thereby get angry and incensed against her.
Chevalier Casal, who resides here, and was once one of the King's ambassadors, is gone to England, where he is now.
He writes that although clergymen and priests are marrying right and left in that country, they remain without reprehension or punishment. That the bishop of Excestre (Exeter), (fn. n17) the author of a book against the Holy Apostolic See and in favour of the English schism, has lately been sent as ambassador to the king of France.—Rome, 11 January 1 536.
Signed: "El Dr. Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½
11 Jan. 7. The Same to Juan Vasquez de Molina. (fn. n18)
S. E., L. 865,f. 78.
B. M Add. 28,588,
f. 118.
Begs that the enclosed be at once put into the Empress' hands, that she may know as soon as possible that the declaratory brief depriving the king of England of his dominions has at last passed Consistory.
The two Papal legates (Consignor di Sena and Monsignor Cesarino), who went to visit the Emperor in Naples, are, it is said, returning to Rome.
Your Worship has, no doubt, already heard that the Swiss, with the favour of France, took possession of Geneva, one part of which belonged to the duke of Savoy, and another to the Bishop of the place.—Rome, 11 January 1536.
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
12 Jan. 8. Hannaërt Viscount [of Lombecke] to the Empress.
P. Arch. Nat.,
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 121.
Her Majesty's letter of the 29th Nov. has been duly received. Delivered to the most Christian queen of France (Eleanor) that which came for her. Spoke also on the charge of gerent of her property, formerly held by Maffeo de Taxis. (fn. n19) The Queen would have been glad to please her (the Empress) on that score, but, unluckily, three months ago the office had been conferred on another.
Answered on the 30th, by way of Avignon, Her Majesty's letter of the 4th, and gave an account of affairs up to that date. Since then the news of this country is, that the King (Francis) is going first to Lyons, and thence into the Dalfinado (Daulphinois), to pass muster to the legion that had been collected at Grenoble. He (the King) still shows signs of desiring closer friendship with the Emperor.
The English ambassadors (fn. n20) are still here [in Macon], without having achieved any part of their mission; nor has the cause of their staying so long at Court transpired at all. Those of Scotland (fn. n21) went to Paris to wait for an answer to the proposal made some time ago of a marriage of the daughter of Mons. de Vendosme (Vendôme) to their king James. Macon, 12 January 1536.
Signed. "Jo Hannart (sic.) viscount."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.


  • n1. See Part I., No. 242, pp. 589-90.
  • n2. Sir Thomas FitzGerald, son of Gerald, 12th earl of Kildare, about whom see Part I., pp. 131, 204, 248-9.
  • n3. See Part I., No. 237, pp. 583-4.
  • n4. "considerando el divino artificio con que la sabiduria de Dios engere (sic) y fabrica en el animo de V. Ala el dechado de sus divinas virtudes."
  • n5. It is doubtful whether Katharine ever received this letter, for on the 8th of January 1536 she had ceased to exist; and certainly, as the letter itself has no date, as Katharine's of the 13th December is mentioned in it,—as the post communication between London and Rome was anything but rapid in those days,—it is unlikely that Dr. Ortiz could have had time to prepare an answer,—one of 22 pages on mystical subjects,—ready for the Queen's perusal before the 1st of January, when her illness became alarmingly dangerous. At any rate, the original, if received in London, must have remained among Katharine's papers, and not found its way to Simancas. I therefore come to the conclusion that the letter came too late, and remained, perhaps, in the hands of Chapuys. At any rate the one at Simancas, though in the Doctor's handwriting, seems to me to be a copy. I am the more convinced of this opinion that the original to which I refer in the Doctor's handwriting has the following indorsement: "The last letter which Dr. Ortiz wrote to queen Katharine of England."
  • n6. "Quant yl plairoit a Dieu la prendre a sa part, ce luy seroit consoulation de pouvoir mourir entre mes braz, et non point desemparee comme une beste.'
  • n7. "Et quil estoit a croyre que les desvoyez depuis seroient les plus fermes à la foy, comme fut saint Pierre (?) depuis son tresbushement."
  • n8. "Et le mesme soir la veiz rire deux ou troys foys et environ demy heure que fus party delle, elle voulust encoirez soy recreer avec ung de mes gens, que fait du playsant." This last sentence would seem to indicate that Chapuys had at this time next his person one servant at least, who played or attempted to play the part of a professional jester or fool.
  • n9. "Il y a environ cinq seymainez, comme lors escripviz a vostre maieste, et dempuys luy renouvellai lendemain de noel."
  • n10. "Hallé que Su Al. en aquellos siete dias antes revesando (sic) siempre y con mucho dolor en el estoumgo; no comia ni dormia sino tan poco que se podia dezir ser nada; y teniala tan consumida y deshecha [la enfermedad] que no podia sostenerse ni en pie ni sentada en la cama."
  • n11. Miguel Lasco. See Part I., pp. 263-4, 401, 412, &c.
  • n12. "Y con esto no sé dezir sino que plega (sic) á nuestro Señor no se haga lo mismo con la Serenissima princesa."
  • n13. "Al muy reverendo y magnifico Señor el Dr. Ortiz en Roma." Neither the latter's letter to Chapuys of the 3rd January, nor Chapuys' to the. High Commander Cobos, are at Simancas.
  • n14. The Emperor's arrival at Rome did not take place until the 15th of April as will be seen hereafter.
  • n15. Chapuys' letter of that date is not at Vienna, but Katharine's to Dr. Ortiz. of the 12th Dec. has been already abstracted. See Part I., pp. 583-4.
  • n16. See Part I., p. 565.
  • n17. John Voysey, from 1519 to 1551; but Excestre is evidently a mistake for Winchester, that is Stephen Gardiner, who in 1535 was again sent to France. See Part I., pp. 561-2, 564, 587, 592.
  • n18. Secretary to the Council of Regency appointed by the Emperor during his absence.
  • n19. Maffeo de Taxis, of the family of Taxis dc la Tour, son of Rugiero, son of Simon, the Emperor's postmaster general in Italy and Flanders.
  • n20. Probably Fitz William and viscount Rocheford, whose mission to France in April 1534 has been recorded. Sec Part I., pp. 132-5
  • n21. Betoun and Erskinc (?). See above, p. 613.